Telephone equipment manufacturer Marconi is developing software to increase the traffic capacity of BT's legacy network over the next three years with a contract worth £30m.
The work, which will use the incumbent's existing network infrastructure, is underway at Marconi's Coventry and Liverpool sites. The software is expected to be transferred to BT's network during 2003.
"We are future proofing our System X technologies," said a BT spokeswoman.
Marconi explained that telecoms operators want to use existing networks as traffic grows and budgets reduce. The developments will also keep BT's options open for future possibilities, according to Marconi.
BT Wholesale said in a statement that the Marconi technology will secure and maximise the economic life of its current network assets.
Peter Leach, acting managing director of wholesale network transport at BT, said: "The volume of narrowband traffic across our network is still growing and we needed to ensure that our existing network infrastructure continues to manage this traffic in the most efficient way possible."
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